I love using my AirPods and my Urbanears Plattan 2 headphones with my Mac.
However, when macOS uses the microphone in AirPods or the Urbanears, the audio in the headphones goes to mono, sounding like an AM radio. It turns out that if you select “Internal Microphone” from Sound Preferences (or use the shortcut of Option-clicking on the Sound icon in your menu bar, and select “Internal Microphone” from the “Input” section), then your headphones go back to stereo and sound awesome again.
The problem is that—at least for me and some other users—macOS always selects the headphones’ microphone as the Input device when you connect your AirPods or other bluetooth headphones.
So I wanted to find a solution to this. Even if it involved coding up a solution.
Turns out there’s a really interesting AppleScript-based solution here:
Ask Different (Stack Exchange) – How to always use internal microphone?
I was fully prepared to do the AppleScript thing, or even go the extra step (as my reply to that solution suggests) and build a Mac menu bar app to handle this. But then I stumbled on this other solution that requires no coding (AppleScript/Swift/ObjC/Other) in High Sierra, and it turns out it’s super easy to configure.
Disclaimer: Please note that the answer was in the comment section of the article and it seems to work on High Sierra (I’m on 10.13.6), but I don’t know if this works on Mojave and beyond.
Open the standard “Audio MIDI Setup.app” utility, and click the + at the bottom to create an Aggregate Device. Then select the Internal Microphone as the only component in this aggregate device and select it as the default input. For some reason this prevents Mac OS X from selecting the Bluetooth Microphone from now on and it will stay on the internal one when you reconnect.
After creating that aggregate input, go to your usual System Preferences -> Sound -> Input (tab)
Pro Tip: To get to Audio MIDI Setup quickly, an easy way is to just invoke your Spotlight Search (Cmd-Spacebar or whatever you have it mapped to), and type “Audio” – it should pick it up, or at least be in the list of results.
The great news is that—at least in my preliminary tests with disconnecting and reconnecting my bluetooth headphones—it appears macOS does in fact hold on to the Internal Microphone setting. My one concern at this point is whether that would impact connecting other microphones. I suspect it will be a matter of manually selecting the microphone in the Sound Preferences (or menu), but I can live with that because it’s the much-less-common scenario for me.